While the tuberculin patch test was under clinical trial, numerous publications appeared which evaluated the patch test by comparison with the Mantoux test. This procedure of evaluation appeared unassailable. The Mantoux test had been accepted as the standard test seemingly of known value. One was to express in terms of this "known value" the as yet unknown value of a new test. From this assumption it was only logical to blame the new test for any discrepancy between the results of the two tests. Since the reliability and infallibility of the Mantoux test were taken for granted, it was permissible to term a nonconforming reaction to a patch test as a "false" positive or "false" negative reaction.
Doubts as to the infallibility of the Mantoux test have been frequently but timidly expressed in the past; nobody likes to meddle with conventional values and standards. It is noteworthy, however, that the
VOLLMER H, RIPPS ML. PSEUDOREACTIONS TO TUBERCULIN. Am J Dis Child. 1943;65(5):763-769. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1943.02010170085010